In praise of radiators (Not the automobile ones!)


Why is it so hard to accept sincere praise? And why is it so hard to praise something whole heartedly?

This is something I have mulled over a lot. As children, we accept praise without thinking. We believe people do not have any ulterior motive when they praise.

As adults, we become cynical, suspicious, guarded.

To me, praising others whole heartedly for something they have done comes as naturally as breathing. When I appreciate something I speak up from the heart, if I feel it is deserved. I have seen varied responses to praise.

Everyone likes to be praised, but how they react is so different.

Some of them don’t accept a compliment and they throw it right back at you. It usually disguises their discomfort at being praised. It makes the giver of the compliment, feel foolish and small—but of course the recipient , for whom it was intended does not realize it.

Then there are others who accept it—but grudgingly. They say “Thanks, but…..” and they go on to elaborate why what they did was nothing great after all. It makes the giver wonder if they made an error in judgment.

The third kind is the best. When someone praises them, they accept it gracefully and say “Thanks.” If they are genuinely nice, they also add “It was sweet of you!”

This third kind are usually the radiators that I have mentioned about in my previous posts. (Click on the colored words if you do not know what radiators and drains are)

Chandni Pai is one of the biggest radiators I know. I have met her a couple of times, but only fleetingly as we used to live in the same city and have common friends. Recently however, after I moved to this place, I have been in regular touch with her—thanks to my blog and Orkut.

She is a person who encourages others WHOLE HEARTEDLY. It is hard to beat that kind of enthusiasm. Each morning, when I open my Orkut, I unfailingly see a cheerful 'scrap' (messages in orkut are called 'scraps') from her, wishing me good morning and hoping I have a great day. In the beginning I used to wonder why she sent those scraps—but funnily, as days went by, I realized that spreading cheer does work! It was hard not to get affected by such an enthusiastic person! Chandini has about 208 friends on Orkut and not surprisingly 108 of them are her fans. She is one of the very few people I know who is genuinely interested in others, asks unfailingly about them and keeps in touch with almost all of them, cheering, encouraging, talking and just being there! She is also a wonderful mother to two lovely boys (aged 17 and 13) and a great wife too.

I was so impressed by her radiant personality that I just had to ask her, her secret! This is what she had to say.

Q:You are such a positive, vibrant and a encouraging person. Not surprising that you have more than a 100 fans on Orkut. How do you feel about that?

I love making friends and I keep them for life. I still am in touch with many of my school and college friends. As regards the fans in Orkut--.well, I love them as good friends but didn’t know I would have so many ‘FANS’! Whatever I do, I do with my heart.

Q: How do you manage to remain cheerful most of the time? Is the ‘happy face’ sometimes a mask?

One thing i have learnt in life—whatever happens, being sad or keeping a sad face doesn’t change the situation. I know that if i keep smiling worries will run away. It is by experience that I’m saying this . Always be positive. It sure helps. When I’m in a bad mood I just keep quiet. I read something or listen to music. Chaar din ki zindagi.muskuraate raho...khush raho!!! (Life is short. Keep smiling and be happy)

Q:. You are into a lot of things like alternate healing. Can you tell us what courses you have done and how it has helped you?

I have done a course in Alternate Medicine. I have learnt Acupressure, Shiatsu, Su-jok, and Reflexology. I also know some homoeopathy and Ayurveda. I treat patients around my house free of cost. I will soon be a part of a trust which will have a hospital for Alternate medicine. I will be treating people there--hopefully by mid 2008.

Chandni reminds me a lot of my dad. He too was a great radiator and people used to flock to him. He too was genuinely interested in others, optimistic, cheerful and it was a real joy to be around him.

The world needs such people. I am so glad people like Chandni are a part of my life.

Do you have any radiators in your life? If so, hold on to them. The older I get, the more convinced I am that they are more than worth their weight in gold.


  1. wow - interesting person!

    and yes, experience teaches us to be suspicious and cynical. and that includes our attitude towards receiving praise.

  2. well - you are one of the radiators that I know and look forward to reading new stuff from.

    I hope I am a radiator most of the time. Is it possible to be a radiator all the time? Doesn't everyone have their down - 'leave me alone' - kind of moments - or is it just me? I think I am a radiator 90% of the time :)

  3. Good Morning PS. There are many 'radiators' in my life. Thanks for reminding me of them today. Thank you. It was really sweet of you.
    (Have I been short enough??)

  4. Vinesh: Probably 1 out of 10 experiences might have been bad.Yet, our judgement gets clouded based on that 1 experience.That is sad.

    Pink Dogwood:It is impossible for anyone to be happy all the time, unless of course your name happens to be Dalai Lama!What i meant by radiators is positive people who are kind and encouraging, as against the drains who leave you feeling inadequate, even though they might not have said anything.And hey--thanks for that fab compliment!

    Dr.Arvind:Depends on if you have said whatever you wanted to convey!(and what is so sweet of me?!)

    Chandni pai: :-)I'm glad you are in my life.

  5. To remind me about them today! I calle dup a few of relatives who I feel have been with me and encouraged me

  6. hey Preeti! Its always a pleasure reading ur posts. And this is sincere praise :)And u provide fresh insights that make me think! I look forward to reading ur posts and now its become a part of my daily life. So ur a radiator too!

    About receiving and giving praise - the best way to receive praise would be with a warm smile and 'thankyou'. But I don't know y I start blushing and avoid it totally. Sometimes I do suspect their motives, but most of the time its flattering! And I think its true with everyone. So dont stop praising people just cuz their response puzzles u!

    Well.... as far as giving praise goes, m articulate! But its more like, "hey.. u look beautiful, u have done a great job, blah blah"... Never been able to say deeper things like "I truly appreciate what u have been always doing for me" stuff! Well... this post made me think and m sure I'l start thanking and praising people more often!

  7. iam bad with praises; so i hve been told by my wife...i tend to brush it off with some stupid self put down joke or something...

    i guess u r rite...never thought tht it cud be hurtful to the person who is giving it..


  8. Its so true how one smile or a praise can brighten up a person's day. The person who gives it loses nothing while the reciever is always richer.
    This was truly a very lovely post.It brings out your own loveliness from within.
    I have come across real Drains...I remember ,after overhearing one of my neighbours singing, I had told her so awestruck "You sing so well. You have a lovely voice" I was so" And she had turned and looked at me daggers in her eyes...and said "Yeah, So??"
    That sure was a shocker and still rings in my ears.

    You are lucky you have a lovely friend in Chandni. And yes, her line
    **When I’m in a bad mood I just keep quiet. I read something or listen to music. Chaar din ki zindagi.muskuraate raho...khush raho!!! **

    Is pure and so well said. :)

  9. PS, you are indeed lucky to have friends like her :-)

  10. Yes, I have a few 'radiators' in my life - a couple from my schooldays, a few more from my military days, and one or two more found in more recent times - in a world that seems chock-a-block full of negativity at times, they're nice to have around.


  11. the aura it is..


  12. Radiators and drains- haven't heard of them before. They are popular usage in Mumbai? Sorry if I am sounding ancient!
    Would love to meet Chandni and you!

  13. positive as ever :-) I'm trying to learn from you!

  14. wow, world needs a few million chandinis more :) i too have a radiator like chandini in my life - her name is swapna, and she is one of teh most selfless persons i ahve coem across. may be i will blog about her one day :)

  15. Lovely post. I do have some radiators in my life & am glad i have them. You have a wonderful day Preethi :)

  16. chandani's words truly radiates her personality...she sounds like a wonderful person to know ...

    This was a lovely post indeed! as positive as the radiator who wrote it...:)

  17. the amazing thing about such radiators is that, contrary to popular belief, they are not being taken for a ride or being trodden over. in fact they are content with themselves and also very secure within themselves!

    here's to more such people in the world! and hopefully we can get inspired by them to have a similar attitude to life!

  18. HI,
    This is the first time I have read ur blog,and absolutely loved it!Keep up the good work..n theres a radiator in my life as well...cheers to all those 'radiators'!!

  19. lovely post... it is truly important to appreciate the radiators in our life... thanks for reminding us!! :)

  20. really awesome advices. I am like that too. I take praise and i praise with all my heart too.. i suppose our reactions to these things totally depend on our experiences with these... no one is born cynical... life makes us cynical.
    Cheers :-)

  21. What a wonderful woman she is.

  22. You are a Radiator!

  23. I too have a few radiators. Those are the reasons for what I am today. Wonderful post.


  24. Hello...Hope u're doing gr8!!!
    Well...I guess i'll be back to blogging soon...m starting by posting commenents.:-)

    This one was an eye opener for me too..i have seen people around who dont take compliments positively bt shoot back at u and it generates a kind of an embarassing situation for the one who praises...

    Well,,,another update from me is that i've been posted to we theres a gr8 possibility that we bump into each other someday....
    It would be gr8 to talk to u..send me ur number at

    hope ur kids are doing gr8!!! I missed reading ur blog..especially the 'mamma moments'

    Take care and hope to hear from u soon...


  25. She sounds lovely :)

    I think praise can be used by some people to get what they want from others so it's no wonder that people can treat it with suspicion. I think learning to take compliments can be a difficult lesson to learn. I have become quite good at it! When you accept a compliment then you feel good and the other person feels good. It's one of those rare win-win situations in life!

    Funnily enough, I have just posted about the same kind of thing.

  26. Bob _kat: She is! I read your post and left a comment too.

    Akanksha: Great! You can be with your bro, right? Check orkut!


    Adorable: She is!

    Revathi:Thanks! Tried visiting you--but blogger profile isnt allowing access to your blog.


    Raaji:True--but some do not let it affect them.

    Preethi:Glad you enjoyed it!


    Guru:Vrey rightly said--but i didnt know there was a popular belief like that! Never thought of it that way.

    Manoranjini:Thanks and welcome!

    xh:Would love to read!!

    Shruti: :-)

    Indrani: Its not any Mumbai term.It is something I wrote about.By the way I consider Bangalore home--as i used to live there! :-)

    Scotty:Absolutely right.

    Balu:Yes--thats true.I do feel good.

    Tys: Now you know!!

    Prats:I might have impulsively slapped her--at least mentally! What a drain!

    Pointblank:Thanks so much--At least you pay compliments--that itself is rare in these times.

    Arvind:you are welcome!

  27. This is so true Preethi. As adults we really do have agendas for everything. All of our relationships are tinged with something at least a wee bit politicky. And we usually don't know how to react to people like Ms. Chandni Pai - but I can at least recognise genuine when I see it and this was heart warming. Its in her smile as well :)

  28. i always wonder each time before i praise, if i will be seen as fake or artificial. people are more suspicious these days you know. heck! even i am!!

  29. She sounds awesome!! Ms.Pai, can I please spend some time with you?
    I am surrounded by stressed out whiners, sometimes I need to take a day off work to remind myself of where I'm headed and jussst shake off the negativity:)

  30. I must say that what I felt instantly when i read this post was, i wish I was someone like this. Someone who can take a deep breath and breeze by overlooking all the bad in life.

    I guess this post has in a way made me realize that its not impossible.

    I am gonna try it now on :)

  31. Nice to know about this great person. I very much liked her reply to the second question. I hope to follow it too :)

  32. can see from the picture that she really shines. It depends on the person I am with if I shine. Some people carry a negative energy and I usally take that on, and tend too loose my god mood.

  33. Hi Ps
    Read ur blog for the first time and was glad I did ! :)
    I know Chandni .. met her a few times and she truly is a wonderful person to know .Her 1000 watt smile is legendary and definitely brightens ur day !!
    And you are right abt accepting complimnets .. it defintiely is an art too !
    I too write a bit . I invite you to visit me at :

  34. I would like to be one ....

  35. I've seen Chandni's greetings to you on Orkut a couple of times, and I must say even I feel better with her contagious enthusiasm! :)

  36. hey!! look who's talking!!!! or sorry, blogging - MS. RADIATOR herself!!! true, you and Chandnimai are wonderful radiators- 'May your tribe increase!!!'

  37. My Mum's a true radiator...whenever i'm low i call her up n talk to her for hrs...she's always encouraging no matter wht i hv to say n shows tht she's never disappointed with me...


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